Tag Archives: dessert

Peach Basil Ice Cream

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As I mentioned last week, peaches are in season here in Colorado, and thanks to our CSA membership, we are drowning in them. We also have a ton of basil, and it’s quite hot outside, which means it’s time for peach basil ice cream!

Basil is a gorgeous herb, and it works wonderfully in this ice cream. It lends a slightly minty, herbaceous excitement to a basic, sweet peach and vanilla ice cream. It’s really something special!

peach basil ice creamPeach Basil Ice Cream

3-4 ripe peaches
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp fine salt
1/4 cup of chopped, fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

First, we’ll handle the peaches. Fill a big pot of water and bring it to a boil. While it’s heating, prepare another big bowl with an ice bath – cold water and ice. Once your pot is boiling, drop the peaches in carefully, and leave them in the water for just 30 seconds. Remove and immediately drop them into the ice water. Give them a few minutes to cool down, and then remove them from the ice bath. Their skins should slide right off Hooray!

Now you can pit your peaches. Add them to a bowl with 1 tablespoon of sugar and mash them. You can puree them if you want a very fine texture, but I like to have some pieces of fruit in my ice cream.

Set the peaches aside and get to work on the ice cream base. Heat the whole milk and 1 cup of cream over medium heat until it scalds. You’ll see bubbles around the edges, but it shouldn’t boil. Add in your sugar, salt and your basil leaves, give it a stir, and turn the heat off. Leave this to steep for 10 minutes.

Once it’s steeped, carefully pour the milk mixture through a fine strainer into a large bowl, to remove the basil leaves. Add in the other half of the cream, the peach mixture, and the vanilla, and stir to combine. Refrigerate this mixture at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, and then put it through your ice cream machine according to the machine’s directions.

Fresh Peach Cake

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Colorado is known for its peaches, and peach season started with a bang two weeks ago when our CSA sent me home with a 10 lb flat of them. 10 pounds! 10 pounds of peaches! We ate a lot of them raw, but I baked many desserts as well to use them all before they got too soft.

My favorite one was Ina Garten’s fresh peach cake – can that woman do no wrong? It’s not overly sweet and allows the peaches to really shine, but the cake is still moist, and texturally perfect for my palate. I made a few small changes, but her recipes are always wonderful.

Fresh Peach Cake
(Adapted from Ina Garten/ Barefoot Contessa)

1 stick of room temperature unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar,
2 extra-large eggs
½  cup sour cream
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with high sides, or put a cookie sheet under your pan to catch any drips.

Fit an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat the butter and the sugar on medium-high for about 5 minutes until it is light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and then add the eggs, one at a time. Once the eggs are incorporated, add your sour cream, yogurt, and vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix until the batter is smooth and creamy.

Turn the mixer off, then sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt on top of the wet ingredients. This is not the right way to do it, but it will save you a bowl. Then turn your mixer on low and mix until everything is just combined.

Spread half of the batter down into the greased pan. Pour about half of the peaches on top, spreading as evenly as possible. Add the remaining half of the batter on top,  and then arrange the rest of the peaches on top.

Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, and check it with a toothpick to make sure it’s done. Enjoy!

(As you may have noticed, my camera is temporarily out of commission, so you are looking at a blurry phone photo. Better ones coming soon, I hope!)

Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar

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To be honest, this barely counts as a recipe, but remember how I said that everything is better with balsamic vinegar? Well, it struck me that maybe some of you don’t know how amazing balsamic vinegar is with strawberries, and if that’s the case, well, that’s something we need to fix right this very minute.

Good balsamic vinegar is syrupy and sweet and acidic all at once, and it plays so, so well the with the tartness of a good strawberry. Add a little bit of lightly-sweetened whipped cream and you have an easy, delicious, sophisticated dessert (or mid-afternoon snack) that is eminently satisfying *and* took no time at all. I don’t think we can beat that – do you?

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Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar

This is barely a recipe. Find some nice strawberries, take the greens off, and slice the berries thinly. Drizzle some good balsamic vinegar on top. (There’s a place in Denver that sells these amazing flavored vinegars, so I use those a lot.) Top with whipped cream if desired – homemade is nice, but it’s not something I always have time for. Enjoy!

Lemon Sour Cream Ice Cream

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It’s summer. It’s hot. We need ice cream!

I bought an ice cream maker on a whim last year, and it has been a godsend. The sun at high altitude is very strong! This was one of the first ice creams I ever made with it, and I’ve made it quite a few times since. It’s delicious and rich, but the lemon cuts the cream and leaves you feeling bright and cool. I’ve also made it with orange zest, which leaves it a little sweeter. Mixing both zests is even better.

I like to eat it with a cookie and some balsamic vinegar. Everything is better with balsamic vinegar.

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Lemon Sour Cream Ice Cream
(Adapted from Scoop Adventures)

1 cup half & half
16 ounces sour cream
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (use a clear one to keep the ice cream white)

In a medium saucepan, mix the half & half and sugar and heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely, just a few minutes. Take the mixture off the heat and whisk in the sour cream and vanilla extract until everything is smooth. Zest the lemon directly over the sour cream mixture and then stir to combine. Chill the mixture in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

When you’re ready to make the ice cream, pour the base into your machine and freeze according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Once the mixture is the right consistency, transfer it to a plastic container and freeze it until hard, about 4 hours. Enjoy!

Recipe: Tartouillat (Cherry and Rum Cake)

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Cherry season is here! Finally, delicious cherries that don’t cost $10 a pound! I may have gotten a little too excited at the grocery store — can you blame me? — and I came home with about three pounds. That’s too many for us to eat on our own before they start to go, so what’s a girl to do except make some cake?

Tartouillat is a fancy name for an upside-down cherry cake spiked with a healthy dose of rum. If you want it to look fancy, use a 9″ springform pan so that you can invert the cake easily once it’s done, so the cherries are on top. If you don’t have a springform and care for flavor over looks, you can use any deep 9″ cake pan.

If you don’t have a cherry pitter, you can use the tip of a pastry bag to remove the pits and end up with (mostly) whole cherries. There’s a description of this method here.

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Tartouillat (Cherry and Rum Cake)

Modified from Serious Eats

Ingredients
1 pound cherries, pitted (see note)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup light rum
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup soy milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

 
Directions
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or oil a 9″ springform pan, and line the bottom with foil to catch any drips. Place springform on top of a half-sheet pan if you’re worried about leaking.

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt to combine.

In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until mixture is thick and pale in color and the sugar is completely dissolved, at least a few minutes. Then whisk in the rum, melted butter, milk, and vanilla.

Make a well in center of the flour mixture and pour in the egg and rum mixture. Stir everything together it’s just until combined.

Spoon your batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer cake to cooling rack and cool in pan about 15 minutes.

Release springform and cool about 30 minutes. Then you can flip the cake if you want to. Serve warm or room temperature.

Just so you know: Most of my adjustments to the original recipe were made based on what I had in the house. I used raw sugar because we were out of white, soy milk because we were out of cow milk, and light rum because we didn’t have dark. It’s a relatively forgiving cake, and should turn out well even if you also need to make some substitutions.